Stages of Vertical Development

The 3 most common stages of vertical development:

i) dependent-conformer

ii) independent-achiever

iii) interdependent-collaborator

and the type of thinking common at each is described in the below diagrams












To be effective your thinking must be equal or superior to the complexity of the environment. As the world becomes more complex, ambiguous, uncertain, interdependent, interconnected, etc thinking needs to move to the 'independent-collaborator' level. The 'dependent-conformer' was suitable in a more stable environment.

A good example of a leader getting it right is Nelson Mandela. After around 3 decades in jail, he is elected president of a country on the verge of civil war. Many expected Mandela to encourage retribution on the controlling white minority by the black majority. However, Mandela saw the world differently. He invited all South Africans to build a rainbow nation together based on its diversity. He used the healing process of reconciliation and hope to create a higher meaning for his country and its people.

NB Remember Einstein's statement

"...We cannot solve our current problems on the same level of consciousness used to create them..."

Nick Petrie, 2013

Vertical assessments measure a stage of development rather than a preference. On the other hand, horizontal assessments, like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Dominance, Induction, Submission, Compliance (DiSC) are horizontal assessments that look at preferences.


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